February 13, 2024

By Megan Lebowitz


WASHINGTON — House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik has filed a complaint against New York Attorney General Letitia James over her multimillion-dollar civil fraud case against former President Donald Trump, NBC News has exclusively learned.

Stefanik, R-N.Y., alleges that James is “conducting a biased investigation and prosecution” of Trump and “attacking” him through “extrajudicial statements,” her letter to the New York Committee on Professional Standards says.

She also argues that James made “highly inappropriate and prejudicial comments on social media” and asks that the Attorney Grievance Committee investigate James and issue consequences, such as disbarring or suspending her.

Stefanik, a staunch ally of Trump’s who is seen as a potential running mate, has filed multiple ethics complaints against judges associated with cases against Trump or the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. In November, she filed an ethics complaint against state Judge Arthur Engoron, who is presiding over the New York civil fraud case against Trump, and the following month she filed a complaint against U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell, based in Washington, D.C., who has overseen Jan. 6-related cases.

“While all Americans possess the right to express their opinions on matters of public interest, attorneys — particularly state attorneys general — are held to a higher standard due to their unique role as officers of the court,” Stefanik said in a statement.

The former president has previously claimed that James “hates” him and doesn’t want him “to get elected.”

James this year called for a $370 million fine against Trump and his companies, as well as a lifetime ban on him and two former company executives from the New York real estate industry. Trump has denied any wrongdoing. A verdict in the case is expected sometime this month.

The state attorney general’s office has argued that Trump and his company falsely inflated statements to financially benefit themselves with better bank loans and insurance policies. James alleged that Trump overstated his net worth by as much as $2.2 billion one year.

Trump has repeatedly launched criticisms against James, at times calling her “rogue,” “corrupt” and “out of control.” Engoron imposed a gag order on Trump last year after he disparaged a law clerk on social media; he called the attack “unacceptable” and “inappropriate.” An appeals court temporarily blocked the gag order.

Trump faces a slew of legal woes, including charges related to allegations he tried to overturn the results of the 2020 election, his handling of classified documents and allegations of falsifying business records related to hush money payments to an adult film star in 2016.